We have some incredibly exciting news that we have been eagerly waiting to announce! As of Wednesday 5th April 2017, our name will officially change to Refugee Migrant Children Centre (RMCC), with Tomorrow Foundation (TF) being dropped indefinitely.
We have decided to make this change to reflect the direction and priority we have as a charity. From humble beginnings, we started as a homework club in 2012, operating in a local primary school and in 2016 we took the huge step of opening Victoria’s first Refugee Migrant Children Centre. With this new space, huge growth rippled down the organisation with new volunteers getting involved and new programs launching.
Our five programs now all focus on providing additional educational and social development services for refugee and migrant children in the local vicinity. These tailored services empower, build knowledge and develop confidence in children across our programs as we aim to break down the barriers they often face throughout their resettlement journey. We have also grown in terms of people power with an increase in volunteer numbers and opportunities available. It’s incredible to think that we have gone from a family in single digits to now having over 32 dedicated volunteers and a Board of Directors.
The heart of what we do, our mission, still remains simple and unchanged, such that “we believe each child has the right to equal opportunities.” With a targeted focus over the past year on helping refugee and migrant children and youth, we feel that by dropping Tomorrow Foundation from our name it provides clarity on our direction and goals as an organisation. We no longer have such a broad focus, ultimately we are here to do one thing, and our new name reflects this.
As we continue with this exciting phase of growth, we hope you agree we have made the right choice! We would love to take the opportunity to thank our supporters for their constant encouragement, guidance and generosity. It is because of you guys that this exciting evolution is happening, and we look forward to bringing you with us on our journey as RMCC.
In February, RMCC successfully hosted two screenings of the Australian documentary Constance on the Edge. Filmed over ten years, it follows Constance and her family as they try to rebuild their lives in rural Australia and transcend their painful pasts.
The response to the film was wonderful. Everyone applauded at the end of the documentary, having been captivated by Constance’s humour and strength. Watching her family overcome their challenges with resilience was also very inspiring.
After the film screening, we ran a panel discussion and Q&A session that lasted for half an hour. The purpose of this discussion was to allow the audience to further understand the resettlement challenges that refugee and migrant youth in Australia face. Our four panelists, Sherry-Rose Bih, Meriam Siraj, Aref Ramazani and Iltaf Hussain shared their first-hand experiences on racism, discrimination, mental health, and support systems.
Audience members also asked questions and provided input on how to address issues facing refugees and migrants during their resettlement, particularly in response to racism and discrimination. Our panellists were unanimous in thinking the best way to address these issues is to hold people accountable for their words and actions, and to educate people on being more open-minded and respectful. As Sherry-Rose puts it, “You don’t realize you’re different until someone else points it out.” A celebration of our diverse culture and inclusiveness, instead of pointing out someone’s differences ought to be the way to go.
A consistent theme of the night for both the documentary and the panel discussion was how we need to be more supportive to refugees and migrants in order to help ease their journey as they resettle into a new community. Arguably, we can all make a difference, whether it is volunteering with an organization invested in this issue or simply providing a helping hand and being a friendly face to a recently resettled family in your neighbourhood. We as an organization assist with refugee and migrant family’s resettlement in Melbourne through our tailored services that build confidence, empower and educate, but the time has come to question what are you doing to help?